GovNews: Shannon Flanagan-Watson Appointed Deputy County Manager

ARTICLE | May 22, 2018
Arlington, VA
  • Assistant county manager since 2005
  • Commitment to excellence and professional local government management
  • Arlington resident for 18 years; active community leader

Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz has appointed Shannon Flanagan-Watson as deputy county manager, effective May 21, with oversight responsibility for Arlington Economic Development, Arlington Public Libraries, and a portion of the Department of Environmental Services, one of the County’s largest departments.

She brings nearly 25 years of combined experience working in and with local governments on a range of professional local government management and policy issues and has extensive experience in customer service and public engagement.

“From tackling large, complex cross-departmental projects, to building strong relationships with our business community as well as other governments, Shannon’s tremendous leadership skills, proven track-record and professional background are an asset to our organization,” said County Manager Mark Schwartz. “With more than 13 years of experience in Arlington, Shannon brings a true passion and commitment to excellence in her tireless work serving our community.”

In addition, Ms. Flanagan-Watson will continue her role representing Arlington County Government on the boards of all the Business Improvement Districts. The new business ombudsman and current resident ombudsman also will report to Shannon.

“I am truly honored to continue to serve the Arlington community in this new leadership role and look forward to making a positive impact in the community I call home.” said Flanagan-Watson.

Ms. Flanagan-Watson succeeds Deputy County Manager Carol Mitten, who has been appointed City Administrator of Urbana, Illinois.

About Shannon Flanagan-Watson

Ms. Flanagan-Watson was named assistant county manager in July 2005. She coordinated a variety of highly visible special projects and served as the business ombudsman, working in partnership with the Arlington business community. She also served as acting director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, from July 2012-January 2013.

Prior to joining the County, Ms. Flanagan-Watson served as the director of business development for the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).

As an ICMA Credentialed Manager, Ms. Flanagan-Watson is an active member of ICMA and holds several leadership positions in local and national organizations including serving as the current Chair of the Alliance for Innovation.

Ms. Flanagan-Watson holds a master of public administration degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and a B.A. in Communications from the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York.

She is a graduate and lifetime member of Leadership Arlington and a member of its Board of Regents. Ms. Flanagan-Watson volunteers her time with several organizations in the community and lives with her family in Arlington, where she has resided for 18 years.

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